I've noticed that a flight I've just bought tickets for is sometimes cancelled. I assume that passengers are then put on a flight to the airline's main hub (leaves around the same time), where there are multiple connections to my destination.

However such a shift will add at least 3 hours to the total travel time. Would I be eligible for some compensation should it happen to me? All airports are within the EU and so is the airline. Length of the flight is 900km.

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    Which airlines is this? Policies differ between airline companies. – The Last Word Jul 12 at 15:59
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    @TheLastWord I'm interested in the legal requirements, which are the same for all airlines. – StrangerToKindness Jul 12 at 16:03
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    according to EU rules, what matters is by how many hours you are delayed in arriving at your final destination. How that happens doesn't matter. If the flight is late or rerouted or a completely different flight - no matter. Actual arrivial time compared to scheduled arrival time does. – Tom Jul 12 at 22:02
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    For what it's worth, EU rules apply if either the origin or destination are within the EU. Doesn't need to be both. – Nigel Touch Jul 13 at 13:12
  • @Nigel It does matter which though unless it's also an EU airline – Flexo Jul 13 at 17:10

See https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm for an overview of the EU air passenger rights.

Layovers, by themselves, do not matter. But if the rerouting you're offered would have you arrive at your final destination later than the original flight, or need to depart from your origin earlier, then you could be entitled to compensation.

This depends on both the length of the delay, and how long in advance you were informed of the cancellation. Refer to the above link for details.

For a 900 km distance, the maximum compensation is 250 euro per passenger.

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    I think quoting the text in the linked document can enrich the answer. If your flight is delayed at departure, you have the right to assistance, to reimbursement and a return flight, depending on the duration of the delay and the distance of the flight. - - - - - - If you arrived at your final destination with a delay of more than 3 hours, you are entitled to compensation, unless the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances. ----> meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8231/… – Mindwin Jul 12 at 20:17

From the EU Air Passenger Rights, you have some protections. The rights apply only:

  • If your flight is within the EU and is operated either by an EU or a non-EU airline
  • If your flight arrives in the EU from outside the EU and is operated by an EU airline
  • If your flight departs from the EU to a non-EU country operated by an EU or a non-EU airline
  • If you have not already received benefits (compensation, re-routing, assistance from the airline) for flight related problems for this journey under the relevant law of a non-EU country.

So, from this document, you can check based on what went wrong. In your case, we're looking at a cancelled flight.

Cancellation occurs when:

  • your original flight schedule is abandoned and you are transferred to another scheduled flight

[...]

If your flight is cancelled you have the right to reimbursement, re-routing or return, as well as the right to assistance and a right to compensation. Compensation is due if you were informed less than 14 days prior to the scheduled departure date. The airline has the obligation to prove if and when you were personally informed that the flight was cancelled. If this is not the case you can contact your national authority for further assistance.

However, compensation is not due if the carrier can prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances.

Based on your description, we can assume that the flight is cancelled, which gives you the right to reimbursement, re-routing, or return. Your description assumes that you accept Re-routing. Accepting any of the three options will revoke your rights to either of the other two options. That said, the airline may still have to provide compensation depending on the distance of your flight and length of delay past your original planned arrival time.

You're not entitled to compensation:

  • if you are informed more than 14 days in advance
  • if you are informed between 2 weeks and 7 days before the scheduled departure and you are offered re-routing which would allow you:
    • to depart no more than 2 hours before the original scheduled time of departure and
    • to reach your final destination less than 4 hours after the original scheduled time of arrival
  • if you are informed less than 7 days before the scheduled departure and are offered re-routing which would allow you:
    • to depart no more than 1 hour before the original scheduled time of departure and
    • to reach your final destination less than 2 hours after the original scheduled time of arrival.

Assuming that you are entitled to compensation, and the airline offered you re-routing, and you reach your final destination with a delay of 2, 3, or 4 hours, the compensation may be reduced by 50%.

So. How much compensation might you get? It depends on the distance of your flight.

€250 if less than 1500 KM

€400 if more than 1500 KM within the EU and all other flights between 1500 KM and 3500 KM

€600 if more than 3500 KM

So in your case, you'd be entitled to a maximum of €250, and potentially as low as €125, assuming you're entitled to any at all.

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    It find it strange that the compensation depends on the original distance, and not on the delay/earlier start. – Paŭlo Ebermann Jul 12 at 21:45
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    I mean, to an extent it does depend on the delay. If the delay is greater than 4 hours, then you get the full compensation (€250 in this case) but if it's less, you only get half that (€125). The distance just determines the base amount of compensation. – Doc Jul 12 at 23:26

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